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What I have here is Crucial M4 SSD which has an / ext4 partition and some data partitions. It seems to be a good time to refresh it with new firmware and complete TRIM (last partition was used to store a backup in a hurry, which following deletion was not followed by TRIM, so now SSD may think that space still has some data)

My current choices are:

  • Acronis True Image (which I have) is a nice tool, but it introduces some costs of rolling back a complete ext4 image onto fresh SSD, also I'm afraid it will take lots of writes of "unoccupied" space to disk. Not to mention alignment issues.
  • cpio archiving is an itchy thing that can result in messed up /dev, symlinks and chattr's. However, it is native and will introduce less noise to SSD when allocating space.
  • copy all files to another harddrive, then restore back: lesser pain than cpio archiving. (cp -av is enough, I guess)

The question is: does the second/third way (file-by-file restoration) is really better for SSD health when talking of a 10 gb / partition restore?

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I think there's no reason to be super paranoid in any of these situations, if it's just a one-time deal. –  Shinrai Apr 10 '12 at 14:55
    
@Shinrai, generally, this could be upscaled to our IT department wiki to become a guideline for 20-30 such occasions per year; but currently it's a task to get done quickly and with less hassle. –  kagali-san Apr 10 '12 at 16:51
    
I should clarify - one time per drive. This is all back-of-the-envelope estimates, but this doesn't seem like enough of a workload to me to seriously impact the performance of a single drive, so I would just do whatever is easiest. (I declined to make an answer precisely because I'm ballparking this) –  Shinrai Apr 10 '12 at 17:04
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